MANILA, Philippines – The military and firefighters were unable to determine the cause of the fire at Camp Evangelista in Barangay Patag, Cagayan de Oro, as responders must first wait for the burnt ordnance to cool.
A statement from the Philippine Army’s 4th Infantry Division (4ID) confirmed Tuesday morning that the fire that rocked the city of Cagayan de Oro after midnight originated from one of the buildings inside the complex of ammunition from the 10th Forward Service Support Unit (FSSU), Army Support Command (ASCOM).
As said building houses 155mm howitzer shells and various small arms ammunition, a cool down period is required before firefighters and the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit are allowed to approach. and clean the area.
“The cause of the incident has yet to be determined. The fire was declared extinguished at 3:10 a.m. However, the incident area needs a cool down period before EOD personnel can move in to clean up the area,” the 4th Infantry Division said in a statement.
“When the residual fire has been completely contained, the team of Army investigators, including city firefighters, will come to conduct a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the incident,” he said. -he adds.
This was confirmed by officers from the Cagayan de Oro City Fire District, who told INQUIRER.net in a phone interview that they had not determined the cause of the fire and the damage. estimated because they had not been allowed to enter the area.
4ID said no casualties were recorded among military personnel on the ground, but three civilians were injured by shrapnel. All are being treated at the Camp Evangelista station hospital.
Personnel near the incident site were also evacuated, 4ID said.
“Immediately, eleven (11) CDO City fire engines responded but were unable to approach the burning structure due to dangerous explosions. There were no military casualties, but three (3) civilians sustained minor shrapnel injuries and are now being treated at Camp Evangelista Station Hospital,” 4ID said.
“All personnel near the site of the incident have been evacuated for safety reasons. Similarly, nearby civilians have been advised to evacuate to the 4ID gymnasium, the designated evacuation center in the camp” , he added.
Those affected also received psychosocial support and stress debriefing, with the help of barangay officials and the Cagayan de Oro City Social and Development Department (CSWD).
Local reports arrived around 1:00 a.m. of multiple explosions rocking Cagayan de Oro around midnight, with the cause initially unknown to residents. It eventually became clear that the explosions were from a fire inside Camp Evangelista.
READ: Fire hits ammo and weapons storage building at Camp Evangelista in CDO
Several photos and videos of netizens living near the area showed thick smoke and bright orange fire coming out of said camp.
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